Germany’s New Gaming Regulator Promises to Take a Closer Look at Gambling Rules

Posted on: March 30, 2022, 05:48h. 

Last updated on: March 30, 2022, 10:58h.

Germany is rolling out its new online gambling industry as a result of the Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling (GlüStV). The framework also includes a new gambling regulator, which plans on taking a closer look at all of the rules to ensure they adequately serve consumers and the industry.

Ronald Benter
Ronald Benter, seen above, is one of two tapped to lead Germany’s new gambling regulator. He is starting to roll out new plans ahead of the regulator’s launch next January. (Image: Games & Business)

To help facilitate that guidance and mold the online gaming industry, Germany will introduce a new gaming regulator, Glücksspielbehörde, on January 1 of next year. But the regulator isn’t waiting to begin to establish its operations, and already knows one task it wants to tackle immediately.

Last summer, German states overwhelmingly approved a new gaming regime that brought to life the legal iGaming segment. Federal states are taking different approaches to their respective launches, but all operate under the same guidance.

German Gaming Laws Under Review

Last September, Ronald Benter and Benjamin Schwanke were appointed to the new gaming regulator as its leaders. Benter, who is the former head of the Department of Gambling and Municipal Economic Law in the Ministry of the Interior in Schleswig-Holstein, has provided an update on what’s coming once the body takes over.

The Glücksspielbehörde will launch a “data-based evaluation” of player protection measures included in the treaty. Benter adds that the goal of the evaluation will be to “gauge the effects of the player protection” measures the treaty authorized.

Our goal is an internal evaluation system to measure the effect of the player protection measures of the treaty,” said Glücksspielbehörde head Ronald Benter.

The GlüStV included a list of strict rules operators must follow. One of these limits the amount gamblers can spend on each spin of virtual slot machines. Currently, that cap is €1 (US$1.11).

Benter added that the Glücksspielbehörde will also include player protection and gambling addiction information on the group’s website, which launched this past February. That data will help operators understand the risks of gambling. It will also provide the standards they need to implement in order to receive and retain a license.

Protecting Against Gambling Harm

The Glücksspielbehörde plans on being proactive in addressing potential gambling harm issues. Schwanke said in the update that the regulator will collaborate with experts from different fields. Collectively, they will develop a system that can provide early detection of potential gambling harm.

This collaboration will include input from experts in gambling addiction and health. It will incorporate some facets of existing mental health warning systems that can transfer seamlessly into gambling solutions. The goal is to ensure Glücksspielbehörde and gaming operators can quickly uncover the signs of possible addiction before it becomes an issue.

A new whistleblower platform will be included as well. This will allow anyone to report suspected “irregularities” associated with licensed gaming operators, or to call attention to an illegal site. It will also allow consumers to report violations of advertising protocols.

The data-based evaluation isn’t a one-time occurrence. It will be an ongoing process that the regulator can use to help shape Germany’s online gaming industry.

The Glücksspielbehörde will take the data it compiles and analyze it. It will then forward recommended changes to lawmakers to possibly update the GlüStV. This, the regulator hopes, will provide the country with a robust and viable iGaming segment that becomes stronger than the underground alternative.